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Strings Alumni

Department of Strings Alumni


On any given concert, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra will have up to three recent U of M cello students performing in the cello section.  Following competitive auditions in the fall, Daniel Thomas (MM '03) and Avi Friedlander (MM '02) were chosen to perform with the orchestra on a substitute basis.  Daniel Thomas, presently a member of the New World Symphony in Miami, also was recently selected into the Spoleto Festival. Upon Michael Tilson Thomas’ return to lead a series of four concerts with the New World Symphony, he chose Dan to be his principal cellist on three of them, including their tour to New York City. Avi Friedlander, formerly a member of the New World Symphony, recently was appointed to the faculty of Andrews University, and is teaching and performing this summer at the Triada Festival In Vermont.

Nathanael Jasinski (DMA '06) is Professor of Cello at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, KY.

Mauricio Lopez (MM '99) is principal cellist of the Virtuosi de Caracas in Venezuela.  The ensemble recently completed a tour of Spain.  As principal cellist, he is featured as a concerto soloist with the orchestra each season.  He is a founding member of the Humboldt Quartet, which toured recently in Venezuela, Mexico, and London.  He is on the music faculty of the Colegio Emil Friedman in Caracas.

Anne Patterson (MM '06)  spent the summer of 2005 with the National Orchestral Institute in College Park, Maryland, where she was chosen as principal cellist.  She has earned a fellowship this summer to serve as principal cellist of the Sinfonia Orchestra at the Aspen Music Festival.  Joining her at Aspen will be current masters student Emma Quackenbush, who has been awarded a mentoring fellowship.

Alisa Horn (BM '04) earned a position with the Chicago Civic Symphony Orchestra, and won 2nd prize in the WAMSO Competition, sponsored by the Minnesota Orchestra.  Alisa was a concerto competition winner at the University of Michigan, performing Bloch's Schelomo in April 2004 with the University Philharmonia under the direction of Jonathan Shames.

Yoouyoung Kim (DMA '99) is on the faculty of Ewha Women's University in Seoul, and at University of Ulsan in Ulsan.  She is a member of the Seoul String Ensemble, and recently presented a recital at the Seoul Arts Center.

Michael Lawrence (BMA '96) is Program Director in charge of Artistic Services of the American Symphony Orchestra League, where he directs all conductor and composer programs, including the American Conducting Fellows Program, the Donald Thulean Conducting Workshop, the biennial National Conductor Preview, the composer-in-fresidence program Music Alive!, and the co-commissioning project, Ford, Made in America, both in conjunction with Meet the Composer.  In 1999 he was selected to participate in the League's prestigious Orchestra Management Fellowship Program, with placements at the Aspen Music Festival, San Francisco Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, and Virginia Symphony.  He has also held positions at Columbia Artists Management, and Ann Arbor's renowned University Musical Society.  Michael Lawrence continues to perform as a freelance cellist, and is a section member of the Greenwich Village Orchestra.

Following on the heels of completing his masters degree, cellist Joshua Kowalsky (MM '01) continued his cello studies in Berlin, and performed at the Verbier Festival under the direction of Pavel Jarvi.  More recently he has played as an extra cellist with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC.

Also gaining major orchestra experience as an extra cellist is Alexander Cheung (BM '01) who performed recently with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in Canada.

Elizabeth Weamer (BM '03) performs in the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and the Madison Symphony. 

Kate Dykstra (MM '02) teaches 40 young cellists at the Preucil School in Iowa City.

Music Education cellists from Michigan have also been attaining a significant impact in the field:

Dr. Bret Smith and Dr. Kathie Goodrich have both made presentations at national meetings of ASTA and other important musical organizations.  

Diane Strasser and Abby Alwin are teaching in the Ann Arbor Public Schools.

Reid Smith is teaching in Atlanta Public Schools.

Kareem Goode teaches in the Houston Public Schools. 

Ben Salsbury is teaching public school in South Florida.

Cheryl Darden is teaching at the Detroit School for the Arts.

Wendy Stuart is teaching in the Clarkston Public Schools in Michigan.


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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower